Population: 2.1 million (2012)
Official language: Macedonian
Major religions: Christianity, Islam
IFES movement: Student Evangelical Association of Macedonia Exodus (SEAM Exodus)
Macedonia is a south-eastern European country that declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Some 65% of the population is Eastern Orthodox (mainly Macedonians), 33% is Muslim (mainly Albanian) and the number of the evangelical Protestants is less than 0.3 % of the population.
Being an Evangelical Christian is a challenge, because there is a strong connection between national identity and the Eastern Orthodox church. The same issue is with Albanians and Islam. Evangelical churches started growing in the 1990's. Although religion became more prominent, there is still a prevailing post-modern secular mindset, especially among students.
- 4 tertiary institutions, 1 IFES group in Skopje
- 4 full-time workers
- no graduate or high school ministry yet, but there is a plan
- largest group: 5-15 students in Skopje
S.E.A.M. Exodus is grateful to be a part of the IFES world movement from where they have great encouragement and support to keep hold of its vision ‘One student at a time’.
They are also grateful for having their own apartment in the city centre where they host Bible study meetings and cook lunch for the students who are not from the capital and are far from their homes.
In 2013, the movement started the ‘Washing Machine Evangelism’ project for students in dormitories who have no laundry services. The movement decided to tackle the issue and is providing practical help to the students, with the aim of sharing Christ.
View from the inside
Maja Aleksandrova became General Secretary of SEAM Exodus in 2013. She is encouraged by seeing ‘God's hand, mercy and leading in the past semester and in some of the students such open hearts full of yearning for the Lord.’
Maja is inspired by Romans 12:1-2: ‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not confirm to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ This is also her prayer for SEAM Exodus students.
- for the students to grow in their faith, responsibility and maturity, to catch the IFES vision and to be 'living stones' among their peers;
- for SEAM Exodus to form a core team and to have a staff worker;
- for the ‘Washing Machine Evangelism’ project to reach students who feel uneasy about coming to the SEAM Exodus office to use this service;
- for God's leading in this transition period with a new General Secretary position.